Alcohol policy could change

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April 16, 2010

6:08 AM

The College of William and Mary’s Student Assembly executive committee has crafted a proposal to amend the College’s alcohol policy.

Suggested changes include removal of the container ban on beer, wine and liquor bottles and boxes, and the re-designation of certain lounges from “public space” to “community space,” which would allow of-age students, following the established policies, to consume alcohol within designated spaces.

“The SA believes that the current alcohol policy addresses students rather broadly, while giving enumerated privileges to those over the age of 21 who reside in campus housing,” Issam Hamididdin ’09 said in an e-mail. “The SA seeks to align the social desires of these students with the policies of the College and provide a safe environment for students to socialize freely within the College policy.”

Outgoing SA president Sarah Rojas ’10, Alex Ely ’09, former SA president Valerie Hopkins ’09, SA Chief of Staff Charles Crimmins J.D. ’10, Hamididdin and Sen.-elect Mike Young ’11 generated the majority of the proposed alterations.

Hamididdin said that elements of the alcohol policy could be too restrictive, and possibly counterproductive, to the goals of limiting underage drinking.

“The container ban does not adequately enforce the prohibition on ‘common containers of alcohol,’” he said. “Therefore, the SA believes that by removing the container ban and enforcing the common container ban, the College is more efficiently achieving its policy aim of preventing underage drinking.”

The proposed changes would also allow students to keep larger containers on campus.

“Students will be allowed to consume larger containers of alcohol — namely forties — without repercussion from the administration, both in their rooms and in their lounges that provide doors that give the resident of the dorm or hall exclusive access to the lounge,” Hamididdin said.

Plans for the proposed amendments to the alcohol policy have been developing for several years.

“The antecedents that ultimately formed the basis of the proposal culminated in an individual document in the fall of 2009,” Hamididdin said. “It’s hard to put an exact time frame on how long the proposal has been in the works, but it is safe to say that it has been developed over two SA administrations.”

According to Hamididdin, the SA revealed details of the proposal in a press release prior to submitting the revisions to College administrators to solicit student reaction.

Hamididdin said that he is optimistic that both students and administrators will be receptive to the proposed changes.

“Thus far, the administration has been positive regarding the proposed changes, and we hope to receive a positive response from the students,” he said.

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